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The benefits of a SLAT for estate planning

Developing a comprehensive legal and financial plan for the future is essential for every Louisiana adult. Estate planning looks different in every situation, and for some, this may include a spousal lifetime access trust or SLAT. Planning well should include a thorough consideration of what tools are necessary to best protect the interests of spouses and others left behind after the death of a loved one.

What can a SLAT do?

A SLAT is a type of irrevocable trust that can benefit a spouse after his or her spouse’s passing. This type of trust can also provide benefits and protection for children and other beneficiaries. A SLAT can hold some or all of a person’s lifetime tax exemption, allowing one to essentially gift it to a spouse without penalty. The spouse will have access to the trust even while the grantor is still alive.

If the spouse dies before the grantor, the grantor will lose access to assets held in a SLAT since it is an irrevocable trust. Only remainder beneficiaries will be able to access these assets. The spouse also retains control of the assets after a divorce, which may be a drawback for some.

Optimal choices for an estate plan

An estate plan is a way to protect one’s financial interests and provide a measure of control over certain assets. The right choices for an estate plan depend on the individual details of the estate and one’s goals for the future. It may be helpful to speak with an experienced Louisiana attorney about what would be optimal for the specific situation.